Work begins to dismantle uranium line

Work begins to dismantle uranium line

Work is underway to dismantle the next area of a chemical plant that played a key role in the recycling of nuclear fuel at Dounreay.

A decommissioning team has started to take apart the series of pipes, vessels, gloveboxes and ovens where uranium trioxide was turned into re-usable metal.

The process line was an integral part of the uranium recovery plant, which took uranyl nitrate from nearby reprocessing plants and converted it to billets of enriched uranium. It closed down in 1998.

Workers wearing protective personal equipment such as respirators have started to strip out redundant systems.

Once complete, they will erect a containment tent around the facility before beginning to dismantle the pipes, vessels, gloveboxes and ovens.

So far, about a third of the facility has been cleaned out, stripped down and cleared away as radioactive waste.